CATTLE producers who have held off selling in the past few months may not be rewarded for their patience.
Projections from the nation's leading industry body predict cattle prices won’t rise, at least for the next six months.
Meat and Livestock Australia has today released its projections for cattle, and said this year would be a "turning point for the Australian beef industry".
"This reflects the first full year of transitions, from a run of very wet years to average or below average rainfall," authors Tim McRae and Ben Thomas said.
"The largest transition … is forecast to be the change from a cattle herd in expansion mode from 2010-2012 to one that is nearing its peak."
This would translate to more female cattle being sold, and a rise in slaughter numbers.
MLA predicts prices throughout the coming year will "more closely resemble the second half of 2012 as opposed to the first half of last year, when the continuation of wet conditions saw prices buoyed by reduced turnoff, logistical issues and strong demand from restockers and feeders".
However, it’s not all doom and gloom with demand from the United States for manufacturing beef, which will help offset competition from the US itself into major Australian markets like Japan.